Bikinis, briefs and beach handball: why female athletes should wear whatever they want

名称: Sprint briefs.

年龄: They have been around for years, but the latest styles are new for summer 2021.

Appearance: Athleticwear, characterised by an aversion to wasting Lycra.

You mean they are small? They are made for competition, but yeah – you don’t get a lot for your money.

仍然, if it gives you that competitive edge. The Team GB Paralympian Olivia Breen swears by them, and she took gold in the T38 long jump at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

As I’ve always said, you can’t win the long jump in a hoop skirt. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees: an official at the English Championships in Bedford complained that Breen’s briefs were “too short and inappropriate”.

When did this happen? In the 1890s? 不, at the weekend.

What did Breen think about that? “I have been wearing the same style sprint briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in,“ 她说. “I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo. It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticised.”

It’s ridiculous. Those beach volleyball women play in bikinis. That’s a completely different story.

Is it? This year, the German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude threatened to boycott a tournament in Qatar after their bikini team uniforms were forbidden on court.

It’s actually a very similar story. The Qatar Volleyball Association climbed down in the end.

Why doesn’t everybody just let the athletes wear what they want? Some restrictions are necessary to ensure fairness, but the International Volleyball Federation issues fairly broad uniform guidelines, allowing for one-piece suits, half-sleeve tops, knee-length trousers and some cold-weather options.

How very forward-thinking of volleyball. Unlike beach handball.

对不起, unlike what? Beach handball – it’s like regular team handball, but you play on sand and, if you’re a woman, in a bikini.

That’s a rule? When the Norwegian team refused to wear bikini bottoms for a tournament match against Spain, showing up in shorts instead, they were fined €1,500.

When did this happen? 在 1974? 不, at the weekend.

When did officials start getting so prescriptive about women’s uniforms? It was ever thus. Just before the 2012 奥运会, the Amateur International Boxing Association tried to put female boxers in skirts so spectators could tell them apart from the men.

说吧: “The only thing you should worry about wearing is a medal.”

不要说: “Hold the feather boa up when you jump, so it doesn’t get caught in the hurdles.”